The Oregon Legislature is considering a bill that would clarify direction to county assessors on how they handle farm equipment and machinery, and whether should be taxed as real property, personal property or not at all.
House Bill 2264 was assigned to the House Revenue Committee but has not been moved forward as of yet. However, that committee continues to meet and consider bills, and the OAN — which has lobbied in favor of the bill — remains optimistic it will move forward.
The bill was introduced because some growers — including F&B Farms and Nursery — have reported receiving letters from their county assessor asking them to pay personal property taxes on farm equipment that is supposed to be exempt. The nursery’s co-owner, Leigh Geschwill — who also serves as chair of the OAN Government Relations Committee — testified in writing that HB 2264 is needed to clarify such situations.
“The letter we received called out certain pieces of equipment related to part of our farming operations, including equipment we are already taxed on as real property,” she wrote. “An example would be my greenhouse heaters. If greenhouses are permanent structures with heading systems installed, they are taxed under real property taxes. I should not be subject to double taxation again under personal property taxes.”
A handout from the Farm Bureau explains the analysis that is supposed to take place under current state law to determine whether machinery or equipment should be considered or taxed as real property or tangible personal property, and whether it should be tax exempt.